An Australian couple was convicted of enslaving an Indian grandmother for 8 years
- A husband and wife will spend six and eight years in jail respectively for enslaving a grandmother from 2007 to 2015.
- The victim is from the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, and lived much of her life raising her family in poverty.
- She told the court she was beaten multiple times, had hot water poured on her, and had her wrists cut.
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A husband and wife in Melbourne who enslaved and abused a vulnerable, malnourished Tamil grandmother for eight years have been sentenced to prison, reported Australian media.
Kumuthini Kannan and her husband Kandasamy were found guilty in April of intentionally possessing the woman as a slave from 2007 to 2015, forcing her to cook and clean for them while paying her around $2 a day.
Victoria's Supreme Court Justice John Champion sentenced the couple on Wednesday, reported PerthNow. He ordered that Kumuthini spend eight years behind bars while giving a six-year jail term to Kandasamy.
Local media reported that the unnamed victim was a 66-year-old woman who was found malnourished at the couple's house in 2015. She weighed just over 88 pounds at the time and had untreated diabetes and sepsis.
She told the court that the couple had beaten her nearly a dozen times.
"She will take a frozen chicken and hit my head," the woman said during testimony, according to News 9."If I go and sleep, then she will come and pour hot water on me."
The grandmother had four children but was widowed at a young age, spending much of her life in poverty and menial labor in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. She lived with the Kannans for six months at a time in 2002 and 2004, before returning to Australia in 2007 on a one-month short-term visa to live with them once more.
She thought she was going to Melbourne to care for the couple's three children but was instead subjected to slavery in the Kannans' home, reported 9News.
Justice Champion said on Wednesday that the Kannans had not shown any sense of remorse for their actions, and displayed a "fairly remarkable absence of humanity," according to PerthNow.
Throughout their trial, the couple denied keeping the woman as a slave, even after receiving a guilty verdict.
But Justice Champion said that slavery can be more subtle than the "ingrained images of rows of men chained together at the oars of the galley or men, women and children working in fields in bondage," adding that the couple had committed a crime against humanity, reported Australian news site News.com.au.
"Using or possessing a person in a condition of slavery is repugnant, degrading of the human condition and a gross breach of human rights," he said.
He also criticized the Department of Immigration for failing to check on the victim's expired short-term visa and being "missing in action," reported Perth Now.
The victim currently lives in a nursing home, after being sent there upon her release from hospital in October 2015, per the local news site.
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